Overcoming by definition is “to succeed in dealing with (a problem or difficulty). It’s easy to talk about doing, but actually doing it is another story. It takes determination, grit, and heart.
There is so much in my life that I have had to overcome. Some of those things were force upon me, others were choices that I made. Overcoming was still hard, regardless of how the situations came to be. And if any of my experiences can help someone else, then maybe they were worth it.
What Have I Overcome?
This is where it gets personal. Some of what I share here may act as a trigger for others, though I sincerely hope not. I just want to share my experience so you know where I have been, and where I am now.
I spent 8 years as a drug addict. Dilaudid was my best friend. We met through my husband at the time. I had injured my shoulder and was in extreme pain. So, my then husband shot me up with dilaudid. I still remember that immediate feeling of euphoria….and that was 14 years ago. The warmth that washed over me.
I gave 8 years to Dilaudid. And when I couldn’t get dilaudid, I used meth. For 8 years, all I did was sleep or spin. There was no “normal” down time. There was no normal per se…or at least what most people would consider normal. My normal consisted of shooting up every couple of hours.
Once I finally made the decision to get help and get clean, my life changed. I removed myself from the city where I was using and went into a faith-based residential treatment program that was 8 hours away in the middle of nowhere. I stayed there for 8 1/2 months. Upon my return home, I was determined to succeed. I cut ties with so many people…even people that I still loved. My focus changed. Even now, it’s still hard. There are still days when I have cravings for dilaudid, but I push past it. There have been times when I have had to go to the ER, for example when I injured my lower back. The doctors offered me dilaudid, but I refused because I knew that it would take away the pain, but I also knew what a very slippery slope it would be for me to take it.
This is such a delicate topic. I have had to endure this 3 different times in my life. The most damaging one was from my step-father when I was 8. As a child, I was under the understanding that my step-father was supposed to take care of me. He was supposed to love me. Was I wrong in thinking this, because that is not what he did. He destroyed my childhood. To this day, I still don’t remember parts of my childhood because I blocked it all out. I have gone through years, literally., of therapy. When my own child was 2, I couldn’t even bathe her without fear. After intense therapy and a whole lot of prayer, I finally reached a point where I could forgive. I would never forget, but I no longer hold on to the anger and hatred that I had for him. Granted, he has since passed away, but I have moved past that.
My arms bear the scars of damage that I have done to myself. For so many years, I didn’t have control over any part of my life, or at least that is how it felt to me. But, I could control my own physical pain. So, I would carve into myself. I didn’t try to hide the wounds from others, because I felt that they were a source of power. I was the one that created the wounds and I was the one that controlled the pain of them. They would bleed if I wanted them to, or they could heal if I would let them. But in the end, it was all up to me.
Now, looking at those scars, I feel ashamed. I am no longer proud of those scars. They are a constant reminder of what I was willing to put myself through. I ended up septic from multiple infections, I now have blood borne MRSA and will deal with that for the rest of my life. All because of those choices. I no longer cut myself, I have found better ways of coping.
What Have I Learned
When you overcome any situation in your life, you learn from it. But, what are you doing with those lessons? Through out everything that I have gone through, I have learned so much.
My worth. I am worth more than I ever gave myself credit for, and I deserve more than I ever allowed myself.
Compassion for others. I have learned that every person needs compassion. They need someone that cares. That doesn’t mean let others walk all over you, it simply means to be kind.
The value of a 2nd chance. I’m blessed. I was given a 2nd chance at my life. A do-over if you will. I got to come home from rehab to find a job that I have been at for almost 6 years now, to a family that welcomed me back with open arms and forgiveness, and a find the love of my life. How great would it be if everyone was given that same opportunity?
What Can I Do Better?
Personally speaking, my life will always need improvement. I haven’t made it…I still make plenty of mistakes. We all fail in some way, shape or form. All I can do, all any of us can do, is pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and take the next step.
What have you overcome? What advise do you have for others? Reach out…because I would love to support you!